A sunroom looks like a simple structure; nothing more than an enclosed space with frame and glass windows where you can enjoy the warmth of the sun. It’s only when you set out to add a sunroom to your home that you find out that there is really nothing simple about sunrooms.
The process of building a beautiful and functional sunroom takes some thought. There is a lot you need to know to ensure that the sunroom turns out exactly as you envisioned it. As Sun-Pro Realty warns, small mistakes during the design and construction of your sunroom can come back to bite you in the future.
This is why before you start building a sunroom, you need a clear map of the requirements and steps. Some of the questions you will need to ask yourself are: What are my reasons for wanting a sunroom? What are the features I need in the sunroom for it to meet my intended purpose?
This post will guide you through the most popular features of sunroom enclosures. It will give you the clarity you need to easily explain your vision to your designer and contractor. Use this information to save yourself from avoidable mistakes that cost you money and time.
The panels that form the walls of your sunroom are held in place by frames. Sunroom frames are either made from extruded aluminum or vinyl (reinforced with steel or aluminum). Aluminum is the strongest option for frames; it is resistant to temperature and humidity, and will not rust, rot, or warp. Vinyl frames with reinforcements of steel or aluminum are also strong enough to surpass the requirements of the building code.
For your sunroom windows, you have the option of glass, vinyl, or acrylic. Depending on whether you are more concerned about cost or quality, these three materials have their specific pros and cons. The standard sunroom window option for most people is glass. If you choose glass for your sunroom, you may choose between single-pane, double-pane, or triple-pane glass.
Sunroom screens let you have the best of sunlight without the harsh effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. In addition to providing shade, screens also protect you from insects and they ensure privacy. Depending on what you want from your screen, you can prioritize privacy, durability, or extra protection from the sun. The screen material may also have all three qualities.
When converting an existing patio to a sunroom you may leave the old roof. But if you don’t want the old roof or you are building your sunroom from scratch, there are several roofing options. You can install a gable roof, also known as an A-frame, or a single-slope roof (called a shed roof) which is often the cheapest option, or an all-glass solarium roof.
This will allow you to add features that let you install telephones, cables, fiber optics, and speakers. This is an optional feature for screen rooms and three-season rooms. If you are building a four-season room, it is considered a standard feature. The electrical raceway post should be flush mounted into the frame to maintain the room’s aesthetics.
The type of rollers you use in doors and windows affect the aesthetic, function, and longevity of your sunroom. If you want doors and windows to close and open without effort or noise, you need quality door and window rolling systems. Available options include triple track rollers with nylon tires or ball-bearing, and monorail roller systems with ball-bearing and high-compression tires.
Door handles are often the focal point of the sunroom’s entryway. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, they must be durable and easy to operate. There is a door handle for every style of a sunroom. Simple easy-grip handles are great for screen rooms. For three-season and four-season sunrooms low-profile door handles, with easy grip and colors to match the frames are a good option.
Weatherstripping is a polypropylene barrier that protects your sunroom from weather and moisture. The kind of weatherstripping you use depends on the type of sunroom you are building.
There are different weatherstripping options for screen rooms and three-season rooms, versus those used in solariums and four-season rooms. You may also opt for standard weather stripping or more expensive options.
This is an optional but recommended feature. Weather lock systems provide an additional layer of protection against wind infiltration. This feature is installed where sunroom doors meet the frames, to provide an airtight seal against the weather. This feature is optional for three-season sunrooms but required in solariums and four-season sunrooms.
You need locking systems that let you lock doors and windows easily and securely. Locks should be easy to use; they should let door and window panels fit into place without fuss. Lock system suggestions for your sunroom include single-point systems, single-point systems with anti-lift bars, and dual-point bolt locking systems with night latch.